Taking Care of Your Dog’s Ears

Ear infections are very common among dogs.  Dogs can also have ear problems if they have allergies or mites.  You can help your dog have healthy ears by taking regular care of them.

 

Ear infections

Ear infections can be bacterial or yeast.  A dog with healthy ears will resist having ear infections but if his ears become compromised in some way, an infection can develop and he will start to show symptoms of the infection.  Things that can lead to an ear infection include trauma to the ear, allergies, parasites, changes in the dog’s hormones or thyroid levels, a foreign body that’s stuck in the ear, and moisture in the ear.

 

If your dog has an ear infection, there are some symptoms that will tip you off:

 

  • Bad odor
  • Changes in behavior such as irritability or depression
  • Discharge from the ears
  • Pain around the ears
  • Redness or swelling of the ear flap and/or canal
  • Scratching or rubbing of the ears and head
  • Shaking of the head or tilting it to one side

 

Dogs with long ears are particularly prone to ear infections, especially dogs with long hair such as the Cocker Spaniel.  If any moisture becomes trapped inside the ear, it can be a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast.

 

Dogs with food allergies often have itching that leads to the dog scratching the ears.  The scratching can lead to trauma of the ears which then leads to ear infection.  Ear mites can also drive some dogs crazy and cause them to scratch their ears which will result in trauma and infection.

 

Ear care

Taking care of your dog’s ears will keep most of these problems from developing.  It is easier to care for your dog’s ears on a weekly basis than to try to clear up a bad ear infection.

 

Start by using a good ear cleaner.  It should be at room temperature so it will not cause your dog any distress.  You will also need some cotton balls or a soft cloth.

 

Your dog should be be sitting in front of you, ideally.  Start by placing several drops of the ear cleaner in one ear.  Do not squirt a lot of the cleaner in your dog’s ear.  It only takes a few drops to clean the ear and if you use too much it will make your dog uncomfortable.

 

Gently massage the base of your dog’s ear where the liquid has gone.  You should hear a slight squishing sound.

 

Use a cotton ball to gently start removing grit and debris that work up from the bottom of the ear.  Stroke the cotton ball around the edges of the ear canal but do not dig inside the ear.  You could hurt your dog if you go inside the ear canal.

 

Repeat this procedure with clean cotton balls until no more dirt or debris come up when you put in drops of cleaner and massage the base of the ear.  Then clean the other ear.  Be sure to give your dog a treat and praise him for cooperating.

 

You should also be sure to dry your dog’s ears thoroughly after baths and after your dog goes swimming.  When you groom your dog or take your dog to a groomer, especially if he has long, furry ears, be sure to trim the hair inside the ears to allow more air to circulate there.

 

Conclusion

Dogs can have lots of ear problems but if you clean your dog’s ears this way each week, you can keep his ears clean and prevent any problems from developing.

 

Article By Nancy Cope: Owner of Pampered-dog-gifts.com where you will find a variety of gifts for your pampered pooch.  Items include gift baskets for dogs, gourmet treats, rhinestone collars, and much more.